1. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, try celebrating early with a few fun events. In Bangor, Friday night brings us a V-day dance courtesy of WERU and DJs Magnus Johnstone and Cory Paradise, set for 8 p.m. to close at the Big Easy at the Charles Inn in downtown. Saturday night, the Thai Lounge in Bangor offers a red-themed V-Day party with $5 getting you in the door and in the running for prizes for best red costumes. There’s also a different kind of V-Day to celebrate at the University of Maine, with the 11th annual performance of the Vagina Monologues, set for 7 p.m. Friday at the DPC business building on campus. Admission is $6 and benefits domestic violence prevention.
2. Ellsworth will rock with the hot blues sounds of Big Pete Pearson and his band, in a concert set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Grand Theatre. Big Pete is a blues man through and through, rocking stages from deep in the south to the west coast to his adopted home of downeast Maine. Blues fans will not want to miss this one. Admission is $10; for info, visit grandonline.org.
3. This weekend brings two big shows opening in the Bangor area. Penobscot Theatre Company opens its first show of 2011, with “Dirty Blonde,” a musical play telling the life story of Hollywood legend Mae West. Meanwhile, Ten Bucks Theatre offers “Epic Proportions”, a hilarious comedy about a movie set gone horribly awry. There are performances of both shows on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday matinees; visit penobscottheatre.org and tenbuckstheatre.org for more info.
4. The Collins Center for the Arts in Orono offers up a delicious afternoon of funk inspired dance, when Philadelphia dance troupe Philadanco takes the stage at 3 p.m. Sunday. Their show, “By Way of the Funk”, harnesses the energy and culture of funk music. Tickets are $22 to $32, and can be purchased by calling 581-1755.
5. Finally, more and more Oscar films hit screens this weekend in eastern Maine. The gripping relationship drama “Blue Valentine” is screening all week at both the Strand Theatre in Rockland and Railroad Square Cinemas in Waterville, and Reel Pizza Cinerama in Bar Harbor shows the always delightful Oscar nominated live action and animated shorts from Friday until Monday. Of course, other Oscar fare like “Black Swan”, “True Grit” and the “King’s Speech” are at most major theatre as well; check your local listings.